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Greetings, Widows!

An update and minor overhaul to our commendations and ranking system is taking place. Most decorations are remaining unchanged in their requirements, but several proficiency ribbons have been added, a new combat medal has been created, and a combat ribbon, DeadEye, has been replaced with the new combat medal, Widower Cross. The MRBC Tournament medal has also been added. The enlisted ranks have also changed slightly, with the senior enlisted rank of First Sergeant having been replaced by the rank of Gunnery Sergeant, followed by Master Sergeant and Master Gunnery Sergeant.

Additionally, new artwork has been commissioned for all decorations, as well as all rank insignia. The artwork still being created, and temporary, placeholder icons have been fabricated until the new artwork is complete. The artwork will not only replace the existing and new medals and ribbons and rank insignia, but also include multiple-award variations of several existing medals.


An awards ceremony was held on the evening 17 June 17, with many advancements and decorations being awarded to those present, and in absentia to those who could not attend. This clears out all of the pending awards and advancements to date, and I highly encourage all Widows to be proactive in nominating other Widows for awards and commendations, or presenting evidence of their own achievements. Screencaps, or the witness of two Widows, or one Command Staff member are required for any commendation. Major Monkey Lover will also be reaching out to Widows for documentation of those who have earned the in-game title Bad Company but not yet been awarded the Purple Heart Medal.

The advancements and decorations are as follows:

Advancements:
Private Sparrow1250 to Private First Class
Private TheCypher to Private First Class

Private First Class Balamor to Corporal

Staff Sergeant Allgame to Gunnery Sergeant

1st Lieutenant preyos to Captain


Awards:
[Light Proficiency Ribbon]
Major Darth Sunder
Sergeant Grim739
Corporal Enroteh
Corporal Irish
Corporal Patman
Corporal TheEnd2009
Corporal Vincent Arthie
Corporal Balamor
Private First Class Decaproteus
Private First Class Sparrow1250
Private First Class TheCyper

[Medium Proficiency Ribbon]
Sergeant Grim739
Corporal Enroteh
Corporal Irish
Corporal Patman
Corporal TheEnd2009
Corporal Vincent Arthie
Corporal Balamor
Private First Class Decaproteus
Private First Class Sparrow1250
Private First Class TheCyper

[Medium Mastery Ribbon]
Major Darth Sunder

[Heavy Proficiency Ribbon]
Sergeant Grim739
Corporal Enroteh
Corporal Irish
Corporal Patman
Corporal TheEnd2009
Corporal Vincent Arthie
Corporal Balamor
Private First Class Decaproteus
Private First Class Sparrow1250
Private First Class TheCyper

[Assault Proficiency Ribbon]
Sergeant Grim739
Corporal Enroteh
Corporal Irish
Corporal Patman
Corporal TheEnd2009
Corporal Vincent Arthie
Private First Class Decaproteus
Private First Class Sparrow1250
Private First Class TheCyper

[Assault Mastery Ribbon]
Major Darth Sunder

[Marksmanship Ribbon]
Major Monkey Lover
Gunnery Sergeant Nightstalkker
Gunnery Sergeant Allgame
Staff Sergeant Pancake Bacon
Sergeant Morrell47
Corporal Balamor
Private First Class TheCypher
Private First Class Sparrow1250
 
[Master Marksmanship Medal]
Captain Preyos
 
[Recon Ribbon]
Corporal Balamor
 
[Master Recon Medal]
Captain Preyos
 
[Gunner Ribbon]
Corporal Balamor
 
[Master Gunner Medal]
Captain Preyos
Staff Sergeant Pancake Bacon
 
[Widow Achievement Medal]
Corporal Balamor
 
[Purple Heart]
Colonel Catamount
Major Cyberlokk
Major Darth Sunder
Major Monkey Lover
Gunnery Sergeant Nightstalkker
Gunnery Sergeant Allgame

[MRBC Tournament Medal]
Colonel Ilithi Dragon
Colonel Catamount
Major Monkey Lover
Major Cyberlokk
Major Darth Sunder
Major LittleJimmy
Captain Preyos
Gunnery Sergeant Nightstalkker
Gunnery Sergeant Allgame
Staff Sergeant Pancake Bacon
Sergeant Corpse Fool
Sergeant Grim739
Sergeant Morrell47
Corporal Enroteh
Corporal Irish
Corporal TheEnd2009
Corporal Balamor
Private First Class TheCypher
Private First Class Sparrow1250
Goathill
Vyx

[Thunderchild Cross]
Captain Preyos

[Ace]
Major Darth Sunder
Captain Preyos
Gunnery Sergeant Nightstalkker
Gunnery Sergeant Allgame

[Widower Cross]
Lieutenant Colonel Catamount
Major Monkey Lover
Captain Preyos
Gunnery Sergeant Allgame
Staff Sergeant Pancake Bacon
Sergeant Corpse Fool

[Legion of Merit]
GoatHill
Vyx

[Black Widow]
Captain Preyos


Special recognition goes to Corporal Balamor, who has been awarded the Widow Achievement Medal for his outstanding improvement in skill and unwavering dedication to the Widows, attending nearly every practice, being active almost every night, and attending every MRBC match, whether he was participating or not.

Special recognition goes to GoatHill and Vyx, who have been awarded the Legion of Merit, one of the few Widow commendations that can be awarded to non-Widow players, for their outstanding assistance with and participation in the MRBC Tournament, playing vital roles in our success and performance, despite not being members of the Black Widow Company.

Special recognition goes to Captain Preyos, who has been awarded the Black Widow, the highest decoration the Black Widow Company can award, and our equivalent of the Medal of Honor, for his unwavering dedication, intrepidity, and outstanding performance in planning and coordinating Widow efforts in the MRBC. His efforts went far above and beyond the call of duty, and every single success the Widows had in the MRBC are due directly to his efforts. His efforts and dedication are a model to all Widows.


Congratulations and Bravo Zulu to all Widows.
-Col. Ilithi Dragon
CO, Black Widow Company

MRBC Results

Ilithi Dragon a posted Jun 16, 17

Congratulations, Widows!

The results from MRBC Season 9 are (mostly) in. Coffin's Raiders and the 505th still have a make-up match to play this Sunday, but the final scores for everyone else are such that it doesn't really matter what the outcome of the match is. We are taking 4th Place in Division E2, behind Coffin's Raiders in 3rd, Blackthorne's Dragoons in 2nd, and The X in 1st.

We have done very well for our first, real go at a major competitive event as a full unit, and I am proud of everyone and what we have accomplished. We made some mistakes and blunders early on, but despite our setbacks we took on some pretty tough and challenging teams, and placed high in a season with an abnormally high number of new entries, and higher-quality new entries. Most divisions in the MRBC have 4-6 teams, and E Division doesn't always have enough teams to make two separate divisions, but Season 9 had enough entering teams to almost make THREE Entry Divisions. We had a LOT of competition this season, and we got thrown into the bracket with the higher-quality teams, some of which are new teams formed by units that already have other, higher-tier competitive teams, and we still placed well. I am proud of all of you, you all did a good job.

Special thanks to GoatHill and Vyx for their participation and assistance through the MRBC. They both proved invaluable, it was great playing with them, and they deserve special thanks for putting up with us.

Moving forward, we have a few months before the next MRBC season starts, and before then there is a Battle of Midway 6-v-6 tournament that we're considering enrolling in, though it sounds like that is being postponed, and PGI is rolling out their own tournament client system soon. We will have to discuss as a unit what we would like to participate in, and to what degree. I'll be putting a thread up on the forums over the weekend to have that running discussion.

In the meantime, I ask that everyone try to be on Saturday night for our regular training. I have a number of awards and promotions to hand out that I've been sitting on for a while, and a few extra awards that were earned in the tournament.

I look forward to seeing everyone in-game. Great job, Widows!
-Col. Ilithi Dragon
CO, Black Widow Company

Don't forget, everyone, we have our 8th MRBC match tonight, agianst the 79th Raptor Talon Cluster. We expect this to be an easier match, but we don't want to get complacent, and we need the points.

We are currently holding in 3rd Place, with a decent chance of bumping up to 2nd Place, if we do well on our last two matches. BTD, the current 2nd Place holder, has a couple tougher matches ahead of them, and we have a decent chance of scoring better than them in our next two matches.

Coffin's Raiders is also coming up close behind us, and if they do really well on their next three matches (their match against the 505th had to be rescheduled to Week 10), they might be able to squeak by both us and BTD. We expect them to do well, but one of their opponents is BTD, and the other two are challenging enough that they might be able to take some points away from them.

Our last match is on the 11th, against The X. The X is currently the top-ranked team in our division, and with TCR forfeiting the seasons, The X's match this week is an automatic max score for them, which secures them in 1st Place regardless of what happens the next couple weeks. However, if not for a few early mistakes that cost us points in a couple of our early matches, we would be right up there neck-and-neck with The X, and we have a real shot of beating them in that match.

We need all-hands-on-deck to push through this final week. Even if you are not a first-pick player for our match tonight or next week against The X, you can still make major contributions to the team by being present, helping us practice, walk through our strategies, and find and work out the flaws and kinks.

We have done very well so far in our first, real competitive season in MWO, and I'm proud of all of you. Let's give it a good final push to really show them what the Widows are all about.

-Col. Ilithi Dragon
CO, Black Widow Company

Preyos has arranged a scrimmage with Coffin's Raiders (the guys we beat last week) this Thursday. Scrim time is 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific.

It will be good fun, and a chance to practice and improve strategies for our match against The X the weekend after next.

Widow MRBC Team

Catamount a posted Feb 14, 17

The Widows will be assembling a competitive team for the MRBC. We only have about two weeks until the next season signups begin, so if you're interested, approach myself, Darth Sunder, Monkey Lover, or Ilithi so we can take stock of the roster we can put together. Be sure to think about what mechs you'd like to pilot and have as big an assortment of chassis as possible thought out, as we cannot field many repeat mechs in matches per MRBC rules.

As some of you have heard, long-time FWLM member and honorary Widow, GoatHill, was absent from the game for a long while because his house burned down. He literally lost everything, and barely escaped with the clothes on his back. He's currently living out of a hotel, and was able to purchase a new computer to get online, but he's been handed a pretty short stick.

Nighstalker and others have suggested putting something together to help him out, so I'm putting this up here. I'll be making a post in the unit leaders forum on the FWLM site, to see what other support we can drum up.

I know a lot of us don't have much to spare, but anything we can do to help out would be appreciated. I'm not real familiar with tools for this kind of thing, so I'll be looking into those over the next few days (and any suggestions anyone has would be awesome).

I'll put more details up here once we get the project a little more organized, and if anyone wants to help get things put together, let me know.

-Ilithi

Monkey Lover argg i had no idea. Goat never said anything about it, i guess i understand. Any word on how we can help still?
nightstalkker I'm all for this. and right now I'm looking into where and how to set up a fund. if anyone has any knowledge o...

After much talk about designing a new logo, and with a couple new medals added to our awards lineup, I'm putting out the call for artistry! I know we have some artists in our ranks, or members who know people with art skills (my own are terrible - I draw stick figures), and I'd like to tap all of those resources. Anyone interested is asked to create new art for any or all of the things we're looking for, and the submissions will be put to the Widows for a vote. The Widows don't really have much in the way or resources to provide payment beyond our heartfelt thanks and the honor of creating a great work for the glory of the Black Widow Company (too much? ;P ), but I'm sure we could probably scrounge something together as compensation for services rendered, even if it's just in-game stuff.

The things that we are looking to have arted:

A New Banner! I would like a new, grand, and regal banner to put up on our website and to fly anywhere that the full Widow colors can be shown. I'm thinking something like a banner with a coat of arms. It should reflect our history, both in lore and in real life, and, of course, be bad ass.

A New Logo! I would also like a simpler logo that we can display in areas that might not warrant (or have room for) the full banner. This may or may not be something that could easily be converted into an in-game decal.

An In-Game Decal! With the new decal system getting set in place, unit decals won't be too far off into the future. I'd like to get ahead of the game and have a new decal designed and ready to go, just requiring conversion to whatever art asset format PGI will require. This decal should be relatively simple, but distinctive and easily recognizable, something you can identify without being right on top of a mech.

Tournament Campaign Medal! This is the medal awarded to those Widows who participated in the Mechwarrior Online 2016 World Championship. This medal should mimic the stylization of the existing medals, but be different enough to not look like a clone in a medal rack.

Thunderchild Cross! This medal is awarded to those Widows who engage in a fight in which they are hopelessly outmatched, yet perform far better than they have any right to, or who sacrifice themselves in a holding action that is vital to the success of the rest of the team that would not otherwise warrant the awarding of the Widow Cross or the Black Widow. This is a "cross" medal, not a disk or coin-style medal, and should reflect that and mimic the deisgn styles of the existing medals.


Bonus! Nose Art? The new decal system allows for the possibility of custom nose art. This is basically what the Widow decal would be, but I thought it would be cool if we could commission custom nose art decals that are more detailed/specific than the general unit emblem, and that could even be custom to individual pilots. Assuming it wouldn't cost too much MC, etc., how cool would it be for each of our pilots to have their own, custom Nose Art decal to put on their mechs? Super cool, I think.

Once again, I call out to all Widows to ply their art skills, or tap any artistry-skilled people they are close friends with, owe them favors, have locked up in their basement, or what-have-you, and put in submissions for any and/or all of the above items! Collaboration is also strongly encouraged! This is a competition, of sorts, but if you can create better art together, awesome! I look forward to seeing your submissions!


Addendum: I am also looking to have some of the existing ribbons modified to show multiple awards, similar to how the Ace Medal is set up. Specifically, I'm looking to create multiple award variants of the Widow Achievement Medal, Thunderchild Cross, Legion of Merrit, Silver Widow, Gold Widow, Distinguished Service Medal, Widow Cross, and Black Widow.

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